Recreational water quality officials from the North Carolina Department of Energy and Natural Resources alerted the public on Tuesday, July 22, that initial testing of the ocean waters around Johnnie Mercer’s Pier showed levels of bacteria exceeding the state and Environmental Protection Agency’s recreational water quality swimming standards.
Samples collected on Monday, July 21, showed test results of 207 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water, which exceeds the state and federal single-sample standard of 104 enterococci per 100 milliliters for Tier 1 high usage sites. Swimming areas are classified based on recreational use and are referred to in tiers.
State officials will test the site again on Tuesday and the results of the sampling will dictate further action. If the new samples also show elevated bacteria counts, state officials will post a swimming advisory sign and issue a swimming advisory.